For Me but not for Thee

Who gets to speak? Who is allowed to protest? According to Yvette Felarca, “not fascists.” http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/26/anti-fascist-leader-very-proud-of-white

Note that the “fascists” had a permit, had gotten permission for a peaceful rally, and were attacked by a much larger number of “anti-fascists.” There are videos and still images going around. WeaselZippers had a good run-down, as do other sites. But, according to the “anti-fascists” what they did is OK, because they are the good guys, defending the world from evil and hateful things. Like standing on the steps of the state capitol and espousing ideas that other people do not like. Continue reading

If Someone Died and Made Me Boss . . .

Probably because of the pending 4th of July festivities, partly because of the Brexit, partly because of the “scuffle” in Sacramento this past weekend, I started to daydream about what the country would look like if – all known and unknown deities forbid – the SMOD, Yellowstone Volcano, a plague of Rodents of Unusual Size, and other things struck and my legions of flying monkeys and I were left in charge of the world.

  1. Everyone would pay a flat 10% income tax. No exemptions, no deductions, if you are over age 16 and you earn money, you pay 10%. If you are in the military there is a drop to 5% while on active duty and 8% while in the reserves. In exchange you get a Taxpayer Card or certificate showing that you have paid in full and are eligible to vote and to participate in such things as Judicial Tomatoing. Continue reading

Gee, You Don’t look Anything Like Your Blog

I am a wee bit introverted. I can do well addressing 400 people at an academic meeting. I can handle two or three folks that I know. But being invited out-of-town to meet a herd of people I know only via reading their blogs was a wee bit . . . nerve-wracking. That and trying to get the Alexi novella done enough to not worry about it, plus finally having a date for the Great Dental Adventure (which threatened to upset my plans to attend LibertyCon). You could say that I was a titch bit frazzled, yes. Continue reading

Morning Raptors

So, last week I was out doing my pre-dawn cardio work out, late enough that I was able to watch the sunrise. The full moon still lurked pretty high in the western sky but clouds striped the east, several layers worth, and from the get-go yo could tell that this would be one of those sunrises worth getting up for. I opted to saunter briskly away from Redquarters, to an area where I had a good view of the eastern sky.

Like this but covering more of the sky and more metallic. http://www.clouds365.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/1-11-13-sunrise2.jpg

Like this but covering more of the sky and more metallic. http://www.clouds365.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/1-11-13-sunrise2.jpg

Continue reading

New Release: Shadows and Anguish

 

Coming Soon - probably tomorrow.

E-book is live.

“I’m fine.” Or so Rada Ni Drako assures everyone, including herself. She recovered from the Traders’ attack and everything functions as it should. Or does it?

That which is brittle does not bend: it breaks. And when the Cat breaks, even the Dragons may not be enough to hold her back.

Conspiracy or Actuarial Follies?

There’s a saying about never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity or ignorance or yes. I try to follow that rule of thumb. Conspiracies never did much for me because how can that many people keep a secret for so many years? No, the government is not secretly planning to [bad Thing], it is two groups of turf-jealous bureaucrats refusing to talk to each other, with predictable results. But now, now I’m beginning to understand how people start seeing conspiracies and secret plots. And it has to do with health insurance, especially mine. Continue reading

Art and the Sacred

Ten or twelve years ago, there was a bit of a tempest in a bookshop between the National Parks Service, anthropologists, and the general interested public over petroglyphs, pictographs, and “rock art.” It came to most people’s attention (those three who were interested) when the NPS bookstores in places like Mesa Verde removed books that had the term “Rock Art” in the title or that used the term heavily in the main body of the text.  The reason given was that 1) the term is not technically correct as compared to petroglyph and pictograph, and 2) that describing images drawn or inscribed on surfaces by pre-modern Native Peoples is potentially insensitive, demeaning, and incorrect because the works might not have been considered “art” by the people who painted or inscribed them. That this pretty much eliminated everything but hard-core scholarly monographs on the topic from the shops did not really matter. People pointing out that cave paintings in Europe are still called art, and that sacred images in Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity are called art did not matter. After the hue and cry and people asking for books, most of them returned, at least the best-selling ones. But what is art? And how do you appreciate art if you are not familiar with where it came from? Continue reading

Labor in Fiction and History

Ever since the first human discovered that sitting around all day in the shade produced no food, we have labored. Over time, as societies became more complex, divisions of labor appeared based on physical differences (male and female), skill differences (weaving vs. pottery making vs. flint knapping) and later differences in animal management (steppe nomads vs. sedentary farmers, those with chariots vs. those without). In time some theorists decided that labor was the be all end all of economics and how labor was divided and rewarded would be the key to politics and social reform. But no one ever said labor would become unnecessary (Wall*E, Star Trek TNG and a few others notwithstanding). Continue reading

Playa Changes

Over the course of the spring I’ve been watching a playa on the western edge of Amarillo. I know the landowner and have permission to go to the edge of it, but no farther, which is fine. Last summer and fall the playa filled to the brim, it was lapping the edge of the road. Alas, in my opinion, the city pumped it out in anticipation of laying a new sewer line for a western suburb and the lake has not (yet) refilled. Even so, you can see some interesting features and changes.

The first image was taken back in early April.

Playa in April after rain.

Playa in April after rain.

Continue reading